Love – Love – Love 2-16-13
I would first like to share a couple of things that were written in conjunction with the anniversary of Kathryn’s passing and Kathryn’s birthday. Being that both days were so close it is hard to pull them apart now. I was so touched by what Casey wrote I was compelled to share as it speaks of how Kathryn touched the hearts of those around her.
Reflecting on how your courage, love and wisdom has influenced my life brings about a lot of emotions. Sadness through death, however, is but a footnote on the overwhelmingly wonderful life that you led during your short time on this earth; infinitely surpassing long-led lives of so many others. Kate was right, it doesn't get any easier. That special place in our heart for Panda isn't going to go away, but it was never meant to. Your spirit was meant to inhabit all of us -- never leaving, always loving. I'm not quite sure of the best way to remember today. The go-to is always to have a few drinks with old friends, but that doesn't seem to do it justice. I'll keep brainstorming throughout the day. Panda, you're the archetype of a life well-lived, especially true given the time that you had. You continue to live on inside of all of our smiles, our empathy, our ups and our downs. If I see Richard today, I'll give him a huge hug for ya. Wishing all the best to your family, friends and campmates! Love ya always, Casey
This next one form Jody also speaks to the person my beautiful daughter had become. Loving and gentle. Always caring about those around her caring those she just met.
Jody Wickett has left a new comment on your post "The Eve of Kathryn’s Passing 2-2-13":
Something led me to open your blog today - my daughter Shelby met Kathryn at WWU when Shelby was a freshman suffering from homesickness. Kathryn welcomed her warmly to the Relay for Life. I just wanted you to know that I have not forgotten what your dear daughter gave to mine in helping her adjust to college. We sent a card when Kathryn passed, but I bookmarked your blog and have often thought of you. Shelby will graduate in March and I will always be grateful to your daughter for helping her branch out and make friends and get involved at Western. Shelby decided to take snowboarding at WWU and she broke her left wrist quite badly a couple of weeks ago - she was such a great patient and the doctors commented on it- her comment back was that she had known others that had to go through so many difficult medical things- this was just a broken wrist and she figured she could do that.
God bless your family - your Kathryn and my dear grandma shared a birthday :)
Kathryn will always be a part of Shelby's memories of college.
I remember this so well. I’m so glad Kathryn made such a big difference in Shelby’s life. Maybe some day Shelby would like to volunteer at Camp Goodtimes. She would have been asking Shelby herself if she were still here. Kathryn loved camp and would want to share the joy of camp with Shelby.
Richard left on his ski adventure on Sunday the 11th. We all pitched in to help him get his teardrop trailor ready to go. All of us, Mitch, Bee ,Scott and myself. We all played a part in getting him off. I made curtains and painted the exterior. It’s fun to be part of his life and help with things like this. He’ll be gone for about 5 weeks. As he was saying his good byes Bee starting crying. It’s hard to say good bye. Richard gave her a hug and kiss and told her, “I’ll be back” in his sweet loving voice. I remember him telling me this same thing in his sweet voice as he left one evening to go back the Bellingham. I was crying as he had just moved out a few weeks before.
I also received fabulous news about Rowan. Her PET scan showed no cancer activity at all. The MRI had shown that the tumor was stable meaning no growth but the PET scan showed no cancer cell activity. Now, I was told this means either the tumor is now a low grade tumor or all of the cancer is dead!. I don’t believe the tumor could really go from a deadly grade 4 to a low grade not even detectable tumor. I believe that the second is true. If now there is no cancer cell activity then that damn thing is dead. Now it just needs to break up and desolve away like it is supposed to in this treatment plan. I have prayed for Rowan and I know many others are praying for her too. If you have a spare moment put in a prayer for her. At four years old she doesn’t even realize what is going on.
So I was asked to tell our cancer story at the PLU Relay for Life Kick Off. this was on Wednesday. I had prepared my speech and printed it off. I looked over it a few times but not enough. But I felt ok to do this. When I got up front it was very informal, just the college style. I felt comfortable and this made it very easy to just set the speech aside and go for it. As I talked I could tell every ear was wide open and all eyes were on me. These young people were soaking up every word and feeling my pain. They hugged me when I was done. They told me I was brave and strong. I was assured that my little girl was there with me by my side. Oh, she was and she was encouraging me as she always did. One young man came up to me and shared about his brain cancer. He said he didn’t know how his Mom did it. I told him that we just do it. We do what we have to do and would do anything for our children. He asked for my email and I was happy to give it to him. I hope he contacts me. It was a good evening overall.
So Thursday was Valentines Day a holiday Kathryn didn’t think much of. She thought it was dumb to have a day to show the people you love ,that you love them. She thought you should show your love everyday. She’s a smart girl. Even though she felt this way she still gave out Valentines. We never made a big deal about the day but we did give each other cards and Scott has bought me jewelry as he did this year. He gave me a beautiful opal ring. It is very different and I really like it. Scott also made crab legs for dinner as he knows I love crab.
During the day I gave out candy to my students. Forgot 1st and 2nd period but made up for it on Friday. I had been looking at the pictures on my wall a lot this day and my heart was really missing Kathryn. Well, that feeling of missing her had been very strong all week. Probably watching Richard leave and know neither of my children were near (physically) had been making me sad, I play it off ok during the day but at night I cry. On my way to and from work I cry. In the shower I cry. Any alone time is cry time. Well, Thursday during 4th period I got a sign. I was in class and we were just going to start the homework when the projector screen flew up. Ten years in this room and that has never happened. In fact to make that screen go up you have to tug down and right or left and then it releases. One of the boys yelled out, “It’s a sign,” All I could say is, “Oh, yes it is a sign alright.” It was Kathryn letting me know she was there. She knows that I need a loud sign not something subtle. Wow, what a way to say, I’m here! Some people may say it is a fluke but I know it was her. The next class period 5th we had some interesting conversations. This class is lively but also hard workers. They are the perfect kind of class. They have energy but they also know when to work and when to play. We have a good time.
I saw on the Long Island Median the other day that a guy thought he saw his brother and she confirmed that it was his brother. So, now when my student was so sure that she saw Kathryn in the store, maybe she really did.
On Friday two of my students who are in my fifth period class hung around a couple of extra minutes like they do on most days. The boy asked me about the weekend since we have a 5 day break. I told him I didn’t know what I was going to do. I said, “Last year at this time I was planning a funeral for my daughter.” The girl said, “You seem happy for a person to have had such a bad thing happen, but that’s a good thing.” I said it is a good thing. My daughter would want me to be happy. She agreed. It’s funny coming from this particular girl. She also told me, “I don’t love anyone. There is just something wrong with me inside. I don’t have the ability to love. I don’t know how to love,” I don’t remember what I said but my heart broke. I can’t imagine not loving and if you don’t feel you can love do you feel like you are loved by others? How can she feel this way? I love my children with my whole heart. I know they know how much I love them. I didn’t spoil them to show I loved them. I cared for them and raised them to be responsible and love others. I taught them to be kind and that money doesn’t make you or your life but the people who you surround your self with make your life. I taught them to give is to get more in return. I know they love and feel love. I only hope this young girl will feel that she too can love some day. She has stopped by my room after school in a awkward kind of way. It’s like she wants to talk but doesn’t know how to just stop in. After this week I know a little more. On a good note she got her first A on a test in my class. I was very excited when I graded her test and she shouted with excitement when she got her test back. This is a good thing and hopefully more good things will come her way.
Today I shared lunch with my friend Lynn. We are friends through our daughter’s experience at Camp Goodtimes. Her daughter is fighting this cancer and is receiving blood transfusions regularly. I think she is getting platelets. I’m glad I thanked the man last week at the blood bank for donating platelets regularly. He doesn’t know why I thanked him but I know it took many donors for Kathryn to receive all those bags of platelets that she needed. Again it is such a gift to give blood and know that you are helping others. It takes so little time and does so much.
It’s Saturday night now and no real plans. Scott and I are going to look at electrical jobs tomorrow. I enjoy doing this with him.
I’ll continue to look for signs form Kathryn. I hope to see her sometime. Others have seen their loved ones and my day will come. After I told someone about the projector screen I realized that the entry light had flickered too. That was a few days before. I think it was a Kathryn sign too but I wasn’t paying enough attention so she gave me a loud and clear sign I couldn’t miss. I love her so much.
Take care now,
Love those around you and let them know it. There should never be a person in this world who doesn’t know how to love or doesn’t feel loved. Share love and spread the joy of life. We are just a blip in time and that blip should be a good one.